Lightning Rod Cost

How much does it cost to install a lightning rod?

A lightning rod is a lightning protector for buildings and structures. They are connected electrically through a wire to the ground and fixed to the top of a building. If lightning does occur it will strike the rod first that will then conduct the power flowing it through the wire to the ground preventing any harmful effects to the structure. Depending on the size of the structure a roof top network of lightning rods with multiple wire pathways can be placed in various positions to prevent any damage to any part of the structure. These are a great preventative against lightning electrocution and fire but require skill to install properly so a qualified technician is required. This kind of lightning prevention system should last along with your property as long as it has the correct maintenance and inspections. Some have been functioning 50 years or more.

The Underwriters Laboratories estimate that for an average 2,500 sq. foot building needing a usual standard network should cost around $2,500.

Cost breakdown

  • Air terminals 1 - These are the actual lightning rods, made of copper or metal that are fixed to the roof vertically in a network depending on the building. They are mounted at the highest points of the roof to conduct any lightening strike before it hits the building.
  • Main Conductors - These are the protective aluminum or copper wires that are connected to the lightning rods and built in the ground
  • The Ground protection - The main conductors are at laid at least 10 feet deep into the ground so the power received by the lightning rods on the roof (air terminals 1) flows straight through the wires into the ground away from the building. In some cases special methods are required in certain soil to ensure full protection.
  • Protection Bonds - These are metal objects connected to the conductor wires to prevent any flashes bouncing between 2 objects causing side flashes.
  • Arrestors - In case of power surges these protect your electrical kitchen appliances, televisions or anything near a power line that could be subject to a surge if there is an increase in electrical current.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Protection for trees - If you have a tree as close as 10 feet to your home that is taller than your roof then it also needs lightning protection. As well as protecting the tree, you are also preventing any side flashes that could bounce off the tree onto your home.

Additional considerations and costs

Always use a qualified technician from an established contracting company. They should be a member of the Chamber of Commerce and install your system according to the Underwriters Laboratories Master Label Certificate, or hold a certificate from the Lightning Protection Institute. You will receive through your mail a UL Master Label certificate or LPI Certificate after installation and your payment. Do not be tempted to use a contractor offering you a good deal without the above credentials.


Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know. See full cheat sheet.

Air terminals: It is a metal rod with a pointed or round tip that allows the lightning to be caught and safely diffused through conductor cables to ground rods buried in a safe place. All three components together make up a complete lightning protection system [+]

Typical costs

$2,500

Cost to install a lightning rod varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). Get free estimates from electricians in your city.

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Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Arlington, TX
+6%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Beaumont, TX
+10%
Boston, MA
+40%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Holt, MO
-44%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kent, WA
+9%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Mattituck, NY
+17%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Overland Park, KS
+15%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Port Saint Lucie, FL
-18%
Richmond, VA
+4%
Aubrey, TX
+17%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Boca Raton, FL
0%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Denver, CO
+1%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Houston, TX
+24%
Irving, TX
+10%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Maryland, NY
-21%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New York, NY
+77%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Peoria, IL
+2%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Labor cost in your zipcode